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Genre Research of Psychological Horror Films

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  • 1. Genre Research.Psychological Horror films.AS Media Studies by Imogen Potter.

2. Psychological HorrorThis is a sub-genre of horror, it is when a character has fears, worries, guilt or paranoia in their mind (psychologically).The characters are usually in realisticenvironments and portrayed asvulnerable and sometimes even daft.Audiences fear is often created bytension from the surroundings, soundeffects, characters in-depthpsychological fears and music. 3. Character Stereotypes.Without doubt, one of the key aspects to making aPsychological Horror film scare people, is the wayin which the characters look and act. Keystereotypes that are often used to present theircreepiness follows: Normally the character starts as a normal, happy,pretty, person who gradually changes throughout. Usually are disturbed, unsociable, isolatedcharacters. Mainly female victims. (Also, often youngerchildren) Suffered a hard, challenging life, experience orupbringing to make you feel sympathetic towardsthe character. 4. Character Stereotypes. The ExorcistThe BadSeed 5. Setting Stereotype.In Psychological Horror films, the setting is crucial toset the scene and create a scary, yet a lot of thetime, realistic place. You will often see thefollowing things: Big, empty, isolated spaces like a large house withmany unused rooms. Set in frequently used, common places likehospitals, schools, and warehouses. A dim lit, dark area. Often a run down, secluded place. Old building with history. 6. Setting Stereotype. PsychoThe Black CatCat People The Exorcist Orphan 7. The black cat (1934)This was one of the first Psychological Horror films. The black cat is about two newlyweds, Joan and Peter whoshare a train carriage with Dr. Verdegast, a polite butruthless man who is returning to the town that he had onceprotected, before he became a prisoner of war for fifteenyears. When they all got onto a bus, it crashed in a stormand Joan was injured. Therefore, they dashed to shelter,amongst a gory battlefield. Verdegast then had to play agame of chess for Allisons life.Psychological Horror films often have references to catsdue to the connotation of superstitions and the realistic feel itadds, so, the black cat is ironic.Also, the fact that Joan and Peter were on their honeymoonshows that the psychological horror stereotype of starting 8. Cat People (1942) This is a film about a young, Serbian immigrant,named Irena, who married Oliver. She fearedthat she suffered from an ancient curse thatwould cause her to turn into a panther whendramatic1942poster.sexually aroused. Oliver thinks this is absurd andworries so he sends her to get help from aprofessional. This film was later reproduced in 1982 andreceived mainly positive reviews combined with afew negative responses. Again, this film links back to the superstitions ofcats and also the mind games that come with 9. The Bad Seed (1956) The story of a housewife, Christine, who has a lovely apartment, awealthy, loving husband, and a gorgeous eight year old daughter,Rhoda. Although, since being a child, Christine has had areoccurring nightmare. On a school picnic, one of Rhodasclassmates named Claude drowned in a pond. Rhoda showedlittle emotion about this sad tragedy. Christine begins to wonderwhether her dream may actually have just been a memory The reoccurring issue of the dream in this film is key in making ita Psychological Horror. This aspect creates believable, yetterrifying mind games on the audience. The way that this starts off happy at the start and then gets lessand less shows the Psychological horror stereotype. Two main people in this are women which shows how the victims 10. Psycho (1960) This is about a young woman, Marion who steals avast sum of money in order to start a new life and fallin love with her lover Sam. She immediately rushes toCalifornia to find Sam but after a long drive, and beingcaught in the rain, she decides to stay in aquiet, unused, empty motel. It was managed by ayoung man, Norman, who is dominated by his mother.She got stabbed to death, presumably by Normansmother shortly after flushing the money down thetoilet! A typical setting is re-enforced here by the way thatMarion just so happens to drop in on a dimlylit, eerie, empty motel not one full of life! 11. A clockwork Orange (1971) Alex lives in futuristic Britain and is caught up in thewrong crowd. He goes out at night and rapesvictims, eventually he gets caught and gets sent toprison. In order to shorten his sentence, he can take partin an experimental course trying to lower violence. Hedetests violence when he gets out of prison so it isnt aneasy escape from gang members! The Government areembarrassed by the situation so they try to cure him. Realism is key here as its an experimental test whichcould really happen in order to improve our systems.This makes the audience scared and worried. Although this is mainly men as the main characters,women are still the victims in the way that they werebeing raped and hurt at the beginning. 12. The Exorcist (1973) An confused actress notices huge changes in her12 year old daughter, named Regan. Regan wentfrom cute and happy to foul-mouthed,unattractive and aggressive. She had out-burstswhen she interacted with humans. It is thoughtthat her sickness is far more serious than amedical doctor or a psychiatrist. Doctors thensuggested an exorcism... Females are the main two characters in this filmwhich is a usually the case for the victim of aPsychological Horror. Also, Regan started off as 13. Patrick (1978) After a sad death of his mother and her lover,Patrick was in a coma in hospital, his only action wasuncontrollably spitting. When a pretty, young nurse -just separated from her husband- started working atthe hospital, she sensed that Patrick was interactingwith her through his psychic powers. Using this hemanipulated actions in her life. Taking part mainly in a hospital reiterates the pointabout being set in a frequently used, eerie place toscare the audience. The sad death of Patricks loved oneslinks back to feeling sympathetictowards the character due to a difficultexperience. 14. The Shining (1980) When Jack was asked to be a caretaker of arundown hotel, he took his wife and theirson, Danny, with him. Danny had telepathic powersthat told him about spirits and ghosts present, hethen started to see odd images that are powered byThe Shining. After ghosts tell Jack what to do, hegoes insane. The stereotype of this sub-genre is enforced here inthe way that they are just a normal family at the startyet theghosts and spirits change their ways. Also it refers back to the empty, isolated setting in a 15. Orphan (2009) After sadly losing their baby, Kate and John were trying torestore their marriage. Kate had a drinking issue, but had beenclear for a year. The couple decided to adopt a child so theywent to the orphanage and met Esther a well-educated 9-yearold, who they adopted. Kate began to feel that Esther wasmanipulative, troubled and perhaps psychologically disturbed.John refused to listen, and their marriage suffered again. Katespoke to Sister Abigail at the orphanage, and she found out thatEsther has a troubled, mysterious past. Kate looked further intothis and discovered shes not who she made out to be. Again, this fits in with the stereotypes associated withpsychological horror sub-genre because they started off with asad story about losing their baby and struggling within theirmarriage and drink problems. This makes theaudience feel sorry for them and want their adopted child to begood